For a multimedia Dick press play
Within 30 minutes of our conception for the chronology of Bay Area native Dick Van Dick’s avant-garde masks 4 club looks, he’s there. The performing artist-designer was in AHDM4U’s newborn office laying out his most recent designs. Van Dick arrived in his post-punk, nu-vogue attire. Two red sweatshirts stenciled with skulls — one worn on the torso in the conventional manner, the other as pants — he reaches into his duffel bag to present us with his latest creation.
“There were some people over the other day and I didn’t even let them take pictures of it,” he tells us. AHDM4U can appreciate a good exclusive. Full red lips affixed to a royal blue leather jester mask comprise the first piece to emerge. Others follow — he’s been busy during his last few weeks on the West Coast, stitching these monsters and watching anime in his basement apartment.
Van Dick is about to break our hearts — he’s got a one way ticket to New York that leaves shortly after opening for New Orlean’s bounce artist Big Freedia on Pride Sunday.
“I’m essentially moving to New York with a bag full of masks and a dream,” he tells us. NYC’s record labels and thriving ball culture are calling.
“I don’t like to waste anything,” he says. “All the stuffing is scrap fabric.” He pulls the unfinished leather edges of his horror show around his face in front of the mirror.
The next mask is made from a leather Louis bag split apart, studded, and shaped so that the zipper opens a large, low grin that gifts its owner with a flapping lower jaw not unlike South Park’s Terrance and Phillip. “This is my favorite part,” Van Dick says, a rather blasé response to our squeals.
“The Mask was my favorite movie as a kid,” he continues. “I like the concept of putting on other faces.” The visages he now produces and wears out to SF clubs provide funny-dark, subtle homage to BDSM, cartoons, glamour. “Without faces…,” he trails off. “I decline to finish that half of a thought.”
The designs will surely evolve with that upcoming flight across the country. AHDM4U is excited to see how NYC’s sweltering heat and frigid winters inspires our soon-to-be-ex-boy-next-door.